Best Surf Wax to Use

Having a good surf wax is not an option when you’re on the water every single day, it’s a necessity. Without it, you won’t last long on a wave. That’s because surf wax is what gives your hands and feet traction on your surfboard as you paddle out and hop on a wave. 

There are plenty of surf wax options to choose from, but it’s important to choose your wax based on your surfing environment and not just the cool name and packaging. Different surf waxes are better suited for different water temperatures. If you are surfing in cold waters, then you will need to apply more surf wax. When the water temperature is warmer, you will need less wax on your board.

Types of Surf Wax

There are several different types of surf wax for the varying temperatures of surfing waters. Cold water surf wax is designed for water temperatures under 60° F and has a lower melting point. Cool water temps between 58-68° F call for cool water surf wax which has a slightly higher melting point than the cold water wax and it also has more softeners. Warm water surf wax is made for water temps between 66-78° F. This kind of surf wax has a harder base and a higher melting point so your board doesn’t become a sticky waxy mess the minute you hit the water. For water temps beyond what’s considered “warm,” there is tropical water surf wax made specifically for temperatures above 75° F. Tropical water surf wax has the highest melting point and the hardest base.


It’s important that you use the right surf wax for the environment you are surfing. If you use your cold water surf wax in the tropics, then your board will become a slick mess of melted wax and you’ll slip right off. Likewise, if you use your warm water surf wax in frigid water, it won’t hold and you won’t get any traction. 


So - which surf wax is the best to use beyond the water temperature factor? We asked a few of Salt Life’s surfing team members what they use. Read on for their recommendations.

Dax McPhillips & Colin McPhillips | Sex Wax

Sex Wax is by far the most popular surf wax on the market, and for good reason. It’s functionally is excellent and gives you great stick, especially in colder water temperatures like the Pacific where Dax and Colin reside. 


Here’s how Dax and Colin describe their preferred wax - “The stickiest and best wax on the market. The coconut one smells amazing. The brand also has the best cold water wax that makes your feet feel extra grippy and set right in.”

Ryder Devoe | Sticky Bumps

Sticky Bumps lives up to its name in its ability to produce great bumps that give you traction and control and will last throughout your surfing session. Sticky Bumps is the second most popular surf wax behind Sex Wax. 


Here’s what Ryder has to say about his favorite surf wax: “It gives you the most stick possible, hands down. If you haven't tried this wax yet, you're missing out.”

Kasey Leonhardt | Sticky Bumps Tour Series

Kasey Leonhardt spends hours every day riding the ocean’s surface so she needs a surf wax that can keep up with her natural energy. For Kasey, that surf wax is the Tour Series from Sticky Bumps. It’s just as sticky and gives you just as much traction as the original Sticky Bumps, but it lasts a little longer.


Here’s Kasey’s take on Sticky Bumps Tour Series - “It has enough grip to not slide on turns, as well as enough give to be able to walk to the nose. I've found it doesn't melt as quickly as other tropical waxes tend to.”


We know that finding a new wax can be overwhelming. We hope that these avid surfers helped point you in the right direction towards a wax that will work for you. They certainly put these waxes to good use each and every day.

Ready to Go Surfing?

Now that you know what surf wax you need, the next step is to get out on the water for some surfing action. Luckily Salt Life has the gear you need to stay cool and protected from the sun while you’re on the beach or out on the water.


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